‘We don’t want our country ruled by crooks’ – Prague protests

Thousands of people again participated in protests on Monday demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš.

Protestors said the Czech Republic deserved much better than being led by a person under investigation.

In 20 cities across the Czech Republic, thousands of people signed petitions and participated in rallies saying they refused to be led by the ANO party leader.

Slovak Babiš was listed in documents in possession of the Nation’s Memory Institute (ÚPN) of Slovakia as a collaborator of the Czechoslovakia communist-era secret police (ŠtB). He denied the allegations.

The organisers of the petition, Million Times for Democracy, find it unacceptable to have a Prime Minister who was on the payroll of the Communist State Security and who is being investigated for misappropriation of EU funds.

Actor Jan Potmešil said: “I’m angry at how we are evolving. The Head of government is someone who is under police investigation.”

Czech and EU flags together with banners coloured the square. The crowd chanted, “Czech (Republic) is not a company” and “It’s true we are being ruled by StB”.

prague protests 2

The message was clear – Czech people deserve better. They do not want to have their country ruled by crooks. “Nobody has the right to do what they want with our country. It is the citizens’ duty to remind elected representatives how to respect the rules of a democratic society – and if this is too difficult for the politicians to understand then they should resign,” the organisers said in a statement.

The protesters also called for the resignation of President Miloš Zeman and SPD leader Tomio Okamura accused of being xenophobic and extremists, apart from being close allies of Babiš.

The protests are not the only bad news for Babiš as the second attempt to form a government also came to a stop. The Social Democrats – ČSSD – wanted the post of Interior Minister to make sure that the ANO leader does not influence the criminal case facing prosecution over a suspected EU subsidy fraud, for the Čapí hnízdo (Stork’s Nest).

With over 230,000 signatures collected since last month, the energy among the organisers is contagious. Political parties, although present, were not involved in the events.  The description of the event clearly stated, “we are citizens of different backgrounds and civil societies such as Million TV and many others that do not want to be shamed by political representatives”.

The event closed with the singing of the Czech National anthem ‘Kde domov můj’ (Where my home is) and the sound of the jingling of the keys reminding politicians it is time to get out.








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